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lykomancer

Play the Devil, Seem the Saint

part 5 of The Passion Arc

Ed lowered his book and stared at some distant point beyond the far wall, face screwed up in thoughtful irritation, and his automail fingers tapped against the hardcover in an unsettled rhythm that unconsciously mocked the rain the cold winter wind splattered harshly against the windows. He'd been in here for hours, and he wasn't making much progress studying.

The voice trapped in his head wouldn't stop speaking. It hadn't stopped in two weeks, not since...

("It's so easy to slip in, so easy to catch you with your guard down.")

...not since...

("You have no idea how much I hate you.")

...the last time he'd heard it straight from the mouth of its owner. Not since said owner had...

He snapped the book shut and tossed it onto the table in front of him, moodily shifting through the haphazard piles of texts and looseleaf papers. That didn't bear thinking about. He didn't want to remember it; he was determined to push those images into the trash bin of his consciousness, to make his hands stop shaking and his stomach quit twisting into painful knots.

("Is that any way to talk to your lover, ochibi-san?")

He hated it—he fucking hated it!—that grating androgynous voice and the way that its acidic words had eaten grooves into his mind...

(...don't tell me you aren't haunted by your own insecurities, your own petty jealousy... Go on, Hagane-no-ochibi-san, tell me that you've never known the sin of envy. Tell me that it is not a cross that you bear.)

...like channels cut into rock by a sudden and violent flashflood.

That damned monster's voice echoed continually in his head as though the Sin was the demon upon his shoulder, murmuring terrible, bittersweet nothings into his ear, his tones slithering over his brain like the lover's caress of a corpse. Ed imagined that the homunculus would laugh himself sick to know how he'd managed to infiltrate—

penetrate

—him even now... Even now, when Envy was nowhere near him, he was still too close; he was still under Ed's skin, rubbing him raw, reminding him of all his own failings and errors, showing him what was growing in the darkness of his own heart.

Ed had begun smashing mirrors, much to Al's consternation.

He couldn't explain it to his little brother; he hadn't been able to tell Al what the Sin had done to him—

what he'd done

—about how he'd forced him, touched him, tasted him, invaded his body and mind—

what they'd done to each other.

("So, was your vengeance as sweet as you wanted it to be, ochibi-san? As good as you hoped it would be? Did you like it? Enjoy taking me as much as I did you?")

When the voice became too loud to ignore, he couldn't even look at Al, couldn't stand to even be around him. With Envy's voice slinking through his head, with his body remembering the jumbled mix of pain and pleasure, humiliation and hedonism, rage and resentment and lust, he couldn't face his little brother. Pure, sweet, untouched Al...

Untouched, and untouchable. He'd done that to the boy himself, and that was another thought that made him cringe.

("The...ingredients...for the Philosopher's Stone... You see the destruction that its creation would need... but I wonder if you see the Stone's potential for great good? It would only take one Stone—one sacrifice. Enough for us to be human. Enough for your brother's body. You are denying your brother the ability to experience fleshy existence... that which you have and take for granted. Does this denial make you any more righteous than us?")

"Shut up!" he hissed aloud, knowing how crazy he sounded but unable to bite it back any longer; there was no one around to hear him talking to himself anyway—Al had gone out for the day with Winly and Sheska upon Ed's insistence. "You don't know anything, so just...just shut up!"

The rain pounded harder against the window, causing the glass pane to rattle, and Ed glanced up at it and shivered. It was cold in here; he hadn't noticed it before, too wrapped up in his own thoughts, but now he could feel the dull ache of his chilled automail. He sighed and got up, padding over to shut the heavy drapes and fiddle with the thermostat. He hugged his arms across his chest, trying to warm the steel up, and shifted from foot to foot, staring at the round dial as his mind jumped the tracks again.

Cold.

Like the silver light of the mad and inconsistant moon.

Like the hoarfrost pale inhuman flesh of the morphing androgyne.

Even in his passion, Envy was cold. Standing near him was like being in front of an open icebox; being raped by him had been like being violated by an icicle, jagged spurs of frost sinking into his belly and draining the heat from him with each of the homunculus's savage thrusts, and when he'd climaxed, it'd felt as through the burning ice of his seed had frozen the blood he'd used as lubricant; and fucking him had been like jerking off into a incredibly tight, pulsing handful of virgin snow.

Variable as the ever-changing moon; beautiful and cold as a marble statue; bitter as the winds out of Thule.

("Don't you realize by now? I am as much you as you are me.")

Ed found himself back in his chair, and he startled, not remembering walking back to the desk. That'd had been happening more and more as of late, and it disturbed him. Thinking about Envy and what had happened between them...remembering the things he hated about the Sin; his skin crawling as his body recalled that chill touch sweeping over him, invading him...getting distracted by the high-pitched asexual voice looped in his mind—not just what he'd said to taunt and mock, but also the sound of his breathy pants and full-throated moans, the little grunts of pleasure and desperate hunger...

Ed shifted in his chair, feeling the heat rise to his cheeks, and he bit his lower lip, rolling the pink flesh between his teeth and scowling. The little bit of pain didn't help. In fact, it made it worse, and he squirmed a bit more, trying to ignore the way his groin stiffened. This was fucking ridiculous.

The bastard had ambushed him, had drugged and kidnapped him; he'd threatened his life, beaten him up, raped him. Forced him. Had violated him in the worst and most intimate of ways, and had made it as painful as he could manage just out of sheer spite. Ed didn't like being hurt, goddammit; he'd hated what Envy had done to him...the bruises and the cracked bone, the rope burns, the burning pain of ripped skin and muscle. He'd loathed the humiliation of his helplessness, his inability to fight back; he'd hated the feel of the homunculus riding him, panting and mewling in his ear, lapping up his sweat and tears, his slim hips rolling between his thighs and driving his cock into his body...

("Afraid that you might actually enjoy it, then?")

Ed snarled a frustrated string of curses and wriggled his hand into his pants, stroking himself with furiously hard jerks of his hand; books and notes were forgotten on the table, everything else was shoved aside as he leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes. Unbidden images flashed before his mind's eye, pictures that he hated but had been seared so deeply into his brain that they never stopped burning...

("Maybe not so afraid...")

It wasn't the same; it would never be the same. Masturbation had become less of a pleasure and more of a subtle torture. He knew what his body wanted, and the thought simultaneously made him sick to his stomach and caused his erection to twitch under his hand—he wanted that slender body rubbing against his, that corpse-cold mouth plundering his, the jumble of sleek white limbs and silky dark hair spread out underneath him, crying out for him...

("Or are you just enjoying yourself too much?")

So compelling...so eager... Ed's breath hitched and caught, a groan vibrating his throat like a cat's raspy purr, and he licked his lips, arching back into the chair. He hated this, too, but he couldn't stop, no, not now, not like this, not when he was so close...

He'd tried thinking of other things, of other people, women and men both, in an attempt to find release in something other than his memories of rape and pain—

was it really rape if you found yourself aroused by it?

—but he'd found himself falling flat, unable to maintain his erection, much to his frustration and humiliation. The only thing—the only goddamn thing!—that worked was Envy... Fucking Envy.

Whatifwhatifwhatif... What if I can never be turned-on by anything else ever again? No one else interests me; even if I were sleeping with someone else I'd still be thinking about, still have to think about...

The look on the homunculus's face when he'd thrust into him, the pretty violet eyes rolling back as he was driven against the stone floor; the way his brow had furrowed and his tongue had fluttered like butterfly wings in the wet cave of his mouth as he'd cried out his climax, his muscles gripping Ed almost needily as he'd tensed up; the smell of his blood mingling with the faintly sweet supheric smoky scent lingering in his hair...

But I don't need anyone else—He could be anything I want, anything at all...

Ed gasped, mouth drawn down in a quivering arc and stiffened in his seat, and then moaned as his orgasm burst through him, as sharp and bitter as the squirt of juice from an unripe lemon, but welcome just the same. He gave a few final lazy strokes, then melted into the cushions, not bothering to pull his hand free from his now sticky pants nor open his eyes.

("You're as pretty as a girl... Is it such a strange idea that men would want to use you as one?")

The rain pounded against the window in gatling gun bursts, and the wind caught the loose edge of an eave and slammed it against the side of the building as it whistled around it.

Ed raised his hand to his lips, licking at the salty, slightly sour fluid, his breathing growing ragged again. So wrong... He moaned again, sucking his fingers clean with rabid intensity, tongue flicking over his own digits, scraping over the calluses formed from sparring with Al, from slamming his hands against rock and brick to transmute it, from fighting against his enemies.

Wrongwrongwrongwrong...

The door opened, and Ed's eyes flew open, the pad of his thumb still pressed against his teeth. It didn't matter that no one would be able to tell, that no one would know—he could feel the guilt on him, as tangible as the wetness on his fingers and gluing his pants against his thighs, as obvious as the flush on his face. He couldn't face whoever it was; he'd stammer out some excuse and go to bed...

"Brother?"

Oh, shit. Ed flinched, feeling more blood rush into his cheeks. His hand dropped to his pants, and he wiped it against them guiltily even though there was nothing on them anymore to draw attention to it. It would have been uncomfortable no matter who it was, but Al... Innocent, unfleshed Alphonse, who knew nothing of carnal pleasure, and who would continue to know nothing until Ed managed to undo the greatest error of his life. Al, who knew nothing of the body, neither pleasure nor pain. There were many reasons that Ed didn't talk to him about what had happened to him, and the fact that he was his little brother and it was thus inappropriate was the least of them.

"Brother?" Al called again, softer, and Ed heard him step closer. He swallowed hard and forced himself to look up at the familiar visage of the animated helmet, a weak smile trembling on his lips. The bluish steel shone with its coating of cold rainwater, and Ed made a note to check on the blood array later.

"Hey," he answered. "You guys finally back?"

"I am; they decided to stay out a bit longer." A large, coarse gauntlet reached out and pushed his hair back, and the soul-lights of his eyes regarded his brother quietly for a moment, causing Ed a momentary internal panic—

could he see? could he see the stain of guilt and perversion stamped on my skin?

—but then the metal countenance seemed to soften a little.

"Brother... You've been studying too hard, haven't you?" he fretted, his thumb brushing along Ed's blushing cheek as though he could actually feel the heat of his blood under his skin. "This room's got such a draft, and you've been acting so strange lately; you're going to make yourself sick like this! Your face is flushed... Do you think you have a fever?"

"Y—yeah, maybe." Ed stumbled over his words, pushing himself out of the chair. Really, he did feel sick—just in a very different way than what Al was suggesting. He lifted a hand to gently knock Al's arm away and give him a little more room...and then he hesitated, looking up at the face of his younger brother for a long moment, gold eyes narrowing slightly.

"Br—Brother?" the voice rattled out of the armor suit nervously, but Ed merely smiled—his wicked little smile that usually implied death for the cause of his devious amusement—and then rounded on the hulking form of his brother quickly, grabbing the wrist of the arm he'd pushed away and yanking it up and back, lashing out in a high kick a split-second later.

Blue-white alchemical energy crackled as Envy shifted forms and ducked Ed's high-flying leg. He rolled his arm sharply, twisting it out of the alchemist's grip—he'd had his hand wrapped around a much larger wrist a moment ago, and the Sin took advantage of his change in proportions to shake Ed off quickly—and then he danced back nimbly, a cheeky grin on his face.

"Lovely evening, isn't it, ochibi-san?" he sang out, fluffing his mass of hair and then running a hand over it to smooth it flawlessly into place. Despite this little touch of vanity, silvery drops of cold water still clung to his mane, dotting it like fine seed pearls, and his luminescent skin gleamed with moisture. He shifted his weight into an arrogantly hip-shot pose, resting a hand on the peak of his pelvis.

Ed wasn't interested in exchanging pleasantries, though, not admiring the bitter beauty of the creature before him, not yet anyway—there was time for that later—and he brought his hands together with a resounding clap, charging forward. He let all his pent-up rage and frustration fuel his motions and whittle his attention down to one small point of focus. Here, at last, was an acceptable target—the only acceptable target—for all the strange, perverse images and thoughts that had been haunting his head, and he wasn't going to let this opportunity go to waste. The energy circled through his closed hands, up though his arms and around his shoulders, thrumming the automail and causing the hairs on the back of his neck to pickle almost painfully, but he didn't use it; he bit it back and instead swung his fist at the homunculus.

Envy ducked this as easily as he had the earlier kick, laughing softly as his own long leg swung out in an arc, striking the back of Ed's knees. The blond went down with a sharp curse, but he reached back over his own shoulders, simultaneously handspringing up and away from Envy, and releasing the trapped energy into the floorboards, causing them to roll as through a miniature earthquake had struck. The Sin stumbled on the undulating wave of carpet and crackling wood, but Ed was already back up and lunging for him with a feral snarl, slamming his automail fist into his face and driving him back another step. He had to press his advantage, he knew, else he'd lose it—Envy was good, and his only mistake was his cockiness—and keeping the homunculus engaged in close combat was smarter—he was faster than Ed, but not that much stronger, and up-close he lost the advantage of his longer limbs and speed. He unleashed a whirlwind of kicks, knocking Envy back against his study-table with an audible thud and groan. Books and papers slid onto the floor as the Sin spun against it, trying to scrabble over to get away from Ed. He hadn't counted upon facing this much resistance, and from his low-pitched growl, it was starting to piss him off.

That was fine as paint in Ed's book. The violet-eyed monster didn't have to fucking like it.

Ed was on him in a heartbeat, catching his slender wrists in a hard grip—he felt the right crunch under the his steel fingers, and Envy caterwauled, kicking furiously and futilely—and he levered the Sin up more completely onto the table before smashing his head down against his, knocking Envy dizzy just long enough for him to clap again. He touched the edge of the table, and Envy yelped as it transmuted in a spectacular flash of light. Ed's ears were ringing from head-butting the homunculus, and he could feel a drizzle of blood winding down the side of his nose, but that was fine, too; he caught his breath and wiped it away, admiring his work.

The heavy walnut desk had warped and distorted, not into smooth, organic curves such as the Tringhams might have done provided with the same material, but into deformed twists of wood knots, wrapping around Envy's forearms at each far corner—his wrist, Ed noted, was already healed—and again around his knees and ankles at the close corners, holding him firmly in place against the flat plane of the desk's surface.

Ed grinned wickedly.

"Payback's a bitch, you know that?"

3. Obsolete—Malevolence

Envy twisted his head, studying the interesting little set-up with an expression of mingled distaste, irritation, and something close to rueful satisfaction, and his lip twisted as he pulled against the transmuted wood. It creaked slightly, but there wasn't any give, and annoyed, he pulled harder. Nothing much happened. He lifted his head to glare at the blond, who was looking far too amused for his comfort.

"What the fuck is this, ochibi-san?" he demanded, throwing his weight against the hard loops holding him down, growling under his breath. The short little shit wasn't going to try to kill him? Or was this a prelude to that? Whatever else it was, it was kinky as hell, and with the way the bastard was smiling, Envy wasn't all that sure he liked that. His expression sharpened as the homunculus struggled, wide gold eyes watching him intensely, and Envy's growl increased in volume for a moment...and then the tension dropped out of his body and he smirked at his captor.

"How'd you know?"

"You better not have touched my brother, you bastard."

"Actually, I didn't." The Sin tried to shrug, and there was a brief pause before Ed nodded, accepting this.

"For your sake, I hope you're telling the truth."

"How'd you know?" he repeated, not at all interested in discussing what he might or might not have done to the walking-talking tin can.

"Al's armor doesn't move quite like that, and you still smelled like you."

Envy's smirk broadened, his eyes lighting up. "Speaking of smells, you know, it stinks of sex in here. You, and sex. What were you doing in here all by your lonesome, ochibi-san?"

Ed's smile slipped a bit, and then he vaulted up on the table, balancing his weight on his toes on either side of the Sin's slim waist. He pressed his flesh hand down against Envy's face, rubbing it roughly against his nose and mouth, forcing him to take a good whiff of the scent of him and narrowly avoiding getting bitten. He backhanded the homunculus for his efforts.

"No biting, you fucking monster, or I'll gag you as well. You can scream just as well either way, so it doesn't matter to me."

Envy turned his head back slowly to stare up at the alchemist in amazement, eyes wide and a dull handprint standing out on his pale cheek. What was this? Shorty acting and talking to him like he was in charge, like he'd grown some fucking backbone...like he'd liked the taste of him so much last time that he was determined to have more and call it revenge, the Sin's own words on his lips? What was this indeed? Envy wasn't sure if he was amused or even more pissed off...

...and then he blinked, and he really looked up at the teenager above him. He had to bite down on a laugh; Ed was flushed so beautifully, his eyes hard and throwing sparks, and he was biting at his lower lip—his entire expression so furiously hungry, so angry and needy—and when Envy dropped his eyes a bit lower, he did laugh, earning another hard clout across the face. Ed snarled bad-temperedly.

"Shut up. Just...shut up, you bastard." If looks could kill, Envy would have been using up quite a number of his stolen lives just to survive the onslaught of Ed's gaze. "I don't know what you did to me..." His palms hit the wood around the Sin's head, and he leaned down to rip a savage kiss from his wide mouth, groaning as he did so, and Envy pushed up into it, remembering, remembering how he'd felt before, the last time he'd been with Ed, that delicious feeling of—

...of what? wholeness? completeness? what a fucking joke...

—the blond's mind splintering and cracking as he looked within himself and realized, at least in part, some of the connection that they shared.

Ed tasted musky, pungent, and Envy's lips curved against the alchemist's, recognizing the flavor of his release still lingering on the tongue that shoved into his mouth with no finesse or patience. It was enough to draw another trembling moan from him, and he jerked against the wood bonds impotently. Ed slid down from his toes to his knees and then his hands were removed from the desktop, tugging at his own shirt with trembling fingers; he had to pull out of the kiss to yank the garment over his head and toss it aside, and Envy groaned impatiently, tossing his head.

Ed's hands came down again, stroking over his chest in firm, almost possessive motions. The contrasting sensations between his two different hands—one hard and cool as it slid over his pectoral and paused to tug at the peaking nub capping it, the other warm and callused as it mirrored the actions of its steel brother—was exotic, bittersweet, and Envy arched up under it, biting out a string of obscenities and insults.

Ed ignored that, biting at his lip and trying to slip his hands under Envy's strange skin-tight top to get a better feel.

"Take it off. Now."

Envy thought about saying no, if for no other reason than to irritate the alchemist further, but his reaction to the command was almost involuntary; the alchemy powering his body responded almost instantly, shimmering down his form. There was something about the blond bastard that just demanded his...

Fuck!

The homunculus jerked against the table again, snarling and baring his teeth. Ed stared down at his sudden spasm in marginal surprise, then his expression hardened again, and his hands resumed their greedy exploration of his body, not minding the way Envy twitched and cussed underneath him.

The Sin growled at Ed, but he wasn't really seeing him; he had been dizzyingly dropped into his own hoard of cutting memories, and he was seeing someone else, another blond man with pale gold-hazel eyes that stared down at him—not with half-rage, half-lust the way Ed was, but with a cold, clinical detachment that chilled even Envy's undead heart.

"I fucking hate you..." he hissed, struggling to focus. He knew it wasn't Hohen—that bastard. He knew it; he wasn't stupid. But he couldn't help it, he couldn't help the way that he reacted to even the thought of the man. He closed his eyes, squirming against his bonds; his breath exploded from his lips in whimpering bursts. "Fff—fuck..."

"Now you know how I feel," came Ed's blunt reply, and then his warm flesh nuzzled against the shelf of Envy's jaw as he sucked and bit a reddening trail down the column of pale flesh, his mouth searingly hot against the homunculus's cold skin. He didn't blunt his scraping teeth, leaving welts that glimmered away before they had even properly formed. One of the Sin's small nipples was clamped between the alchemist's canine teeth, and Envy's protests were abruptly cut off by an indignant squall of unexpected pleasure. Ed bit down harder, groaning softly as the body under him tremblingly arched up, and then he lifted his head, staring down at his captive.

"You have no idea how much I hate you for what you've done to me."

"What I...?" Envy panted, trying like hell to ignore the way his body was responding to the warm weight on it, the nips of pain and intermingled pleasure, the naked hunger in Ed's eyes. He wasn't supposed to enjoy this, goddammit; there was nothing enjoyable about being pinned down and being taken advantage of by this short shit of a bastard's son. He'd wanted to break Ed, make him burn for him, but he hadn't expected to end up like this—helplessly incapacitated, spread-eagle, getting groped by a horny and pissed off 16 year old flesh sack, and having flashbacks of people he'd rather not remember. He hadn't expected to like it, and that was insulting, degrading, infuriating. His face twisted as he bared his teeth. "I didn't do anything. It's not my fault you're such a little slut that you even enjoyed being raped. Don't blame me for your failings, ochibi-san; your problems are your own."

Ed's expression curdled, his brows snapping down as he scowled. Obviously, that had been a successful shot, and the blond was none too happy about it. Envy laughed softly.

"You go on and laugh," Ed advised him, and something about the blond's tone gave Envy a pause; but really, what did Fullmetal Shrimp really think he could do to him? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The alchemist was weak, pathetic, mortal. A lot of hot air. This wasn't like dealing with Greed, who'd ended up being more of a problem than Envy'd originally predicted... Envy shook that thought from his head with a moue of disgust; Ed was still speaking. "See if you're so goddamn amused in the end..."

Ed slid from the desktop, and Envy breathed a little easier without that distracting heat rubbing against his stomach, the warm, strong thighs splayed around him. He lifted his head to watch the alchemist stroll around him, the golden eyes admiring his slim form—ah, but that was sweet, wasn't it? He could be anyone the boy wanted, but from the look in his eyes, all he wanted was this frothy meringue concoction of a body, the whipped cream and spun sugar dessert buffet that was Envy's masterpiece of design, the form that was more truly his than the one he'd been born into, and that kind of flattery made the homunculus purr like a half-tamed tiger, narrowing his violet eyes as though Ed's gaze was actually tangible as it raked over him, his lips turning up in a pleased smile.

The blonde flushed a little darker as he regarded his captive, and Envy's expression melted even further into smug delight—aw, Shorty seemed to like what he saw! Envy was aware of how he must look to the boy, spread out and nude, pale against the dark wood, unambiguously aroused by the blond's strange little game, his still-damp hair spilling over the edge...beautiful, he knew. He shifted a faint blush into his cheeks and lowered his lids, watching his alchemist grow more flustered through the fringe of his lashes.

Ed stopped his pacing between the Sin's spread legs and feathered his fingers up the insides of them from knee to groin, causing Envy's arrogance to falter as he shivered, sucking in a sharp breath. The alchemist's expression was serious, hard as granite, and Envy once more wondered what was on his mind; surely it didn't take this much thought to simply decide to fuck him!

"Ochib—"

"Shut up." Ed didn't look up, but then sometime close to a smile slashed across his face, though it didn't soften his expression in the least. "We're gonna have some fun, you and I," he smirked, once more mocking Envy. "We're gonna play a game or two." His automail fingers brushed a little higher, dusting lightly over delicate, sensitive skin, and one of Envy's thin brows quirked upward as he stared down the length of his body at the blond. He... He wasn't really going to...?

Ah, but he was going to. Envy yelped in surprise as one unnaturally hard finger pushed into him, pulling at the tight ring of muscle uncomfortably despite its smoothness. He winced, then shifted his dimensions the tiniest bit instinctively—a trick he'd learned long ago that had been useful for dealing with Greed—and Ed's brows lifted as he felt the change, looking more interested. The corner of his lip twitched in amusement, and then he unfolded another steel finger and wiggled it in beside the first, his smile broadening as the homunculus didn't stretch but actually morphed around him, readjusting his body to accommodate this invasion.

"That's a nice trick," he snorted then, drawing his digits out slowly, causing Envy to squirm against the table with a low whine, his cock twitching against his taut belly. "I just figured it didn't matter if I ripped you up a bit, since you heal so fast, but it doesn't even come down to that, does it?" The tips of his metal fingers rubbed just against the inside edge, dragging roughly over the ridges of puckered skin, and Envy yowled, writhing violently. He gasped dizzily, unable to stop the way his hips bucked up into the teasing friction, and all thought was burned away; he was nothing but sensation, glorious sensation.

"You like that?" Ed murmured, watching his frustrated twisting avidly. He licked his lips and his fingers curled slightly before pulled out completely, lingering against the crease of his ass, dragging another ragged burst of sound from the Sin. He didn't give Envy a chance to catch his breath; the automail was pushed back into him, but this time, Ed wasn't slow or merciful—apparently he'd accepted that the homunculus's odd inhuman body could take this—and Envy shrieked as all four steel digits were suddenly sheathed in him. He arched back, trying to draw himself away, muscles fluttering as he strained against the wood; that hurt; he hadn't been expecting that at all, and for a moment he could do nothing but fight against it and wail before he reflexively shifted around the steel.

Envy panted, rolling his eyes toward Ed to stare at him in shock. What the fuck...? The little bastard was fucking smirking at him, and despite everything, Envy opened his mouth to tell him off.

Ed folded his thumb in and wiggled his hand, shoving until he was wrist-deep, and the Sin's torrent of harsh words fell into shreds. Too much... Even after adjusting for it, it was still almost too much; the alchemist's hand filled him, rubbed him from the inside out, and the somehow heavy feel of it wrung helpless whimpers from him even before Ed began to slowly work his forearm in small, steady thrusts. Ed was gasping for breath, face crimson as he ground his crotch against the rim of the table. His other hand gripped Envy's thigh, his short nails biting in, adding their voice to the symphony of pleasure and pain shooting through him. The polished edges of steel plating were smooth enough not to catch, but Envy could feel them—God, he could feel every little ridge and bump that made up the geography of Ed's fist—and they stimulated him in a way he'd never felt before; it was incredible, it's incredible, I didn't know... I didn't know it'd be like this. So close, so close, so damned close... Envy tipped his hips up, and threw his head back, crying out, whole body straining...

Ed jerked back, yanking his hand free. This time something did catch, and Envy gave a short strangled scream, twisting against the shot of burning pain, and he snarled—at least that's what he'd intended to do; it actually came out sounding more like a broken sobbing whine—yanking at the wooden cuffs pinning him down. How dare the little son of a bitch stop there! How dare he leave him like this, more aroused that he could remember being in centuries, completely unable to do anything about it, and at the mercy of the goddamn shrimp's whims!

Ed was already tearing at his pants in a mad fit, so wild to get them off he couldn't even control himself enough to work his fly, and Envy wondered distractedly if he was going to transmute his arm into a blade and just cut the fucking things off...but then he heard the metallic rasp of a zipper, and a bare moment later, Ed clambered up on the desk, almost falling on Envy in his rush.

Strong mismatched arms crushed around his ribs, and the hot, impatient mouth was back on his sucking up the sweetness of his moans and whispered curses. The firm, tanned body of the alchemist arched forward, mindlessly seeking someplace to fill; Envy sputtered over Ed's tongue as his erection jabbed him in the thigh, and Ed gave an answering hiss of discomfort and irritation before he got his knees under him and reached between his legs to shakily to guide himself. His hand slapped back down on the desktop, and his hips snapped forward, burying his hard length into the cold flesh of the Sin. Both groaned as they came together; Envy's head lolled back against the wood, and Ed curled his arms around his torso again, back bowing as he drove himself into to the hilt.

There was no pause to savor the moment, to find a pacing or rhythm, there was no slack falling in the space between them—they'd been through this enough before. Ed pumped into him quick and hard, as driven in sex as he was in anything else, and Envy squealed as he was rocked against the varnished surface until he finally lifted his head and clamped his mouth down on the blond's shining shoulder, his sharp teeth rattling against the metal. The ripples of Ed's well-defined abdominals massaged the Sin's sex, grinding it between the contrasting heat and cold of their bodies; the heat and friction of his rapid movements burned in Envy's lower belly, sparks of drifting up on hot thermals to tighten his lungs, singe his aching heart—

is this what it is like to fly too close to the sun, then?

—and for a moment, Envy forgot everything, forgot how much he hated Edward Elric, hated being helpless, hated losing control...and for a few racing heartbeats he remembered just to be.

It was like being alive again.

He screamed against Ed's shoulder, not feeling the metal vibrate against his teeth from the force of it, his entire body writhing and bucking as he fought against the bonds holding him down and daring to put distance between him and his lover, as he struggled to jerk his hips up to meet the blond's increasingly swift thrusts, needing, needing, needing. Ed was everything he'd ever fucking wanted, and for this span of time, it didn't matter who owned who, just so long as...

It wasn't enough that he was the golden child, the beloved one... That wasn't enough reason for me to hate him. No... Despite everything... I had to love him, too.

...he could breathe in the scent of him, electric like ozone, metallic and oily; just as long as...

But that didn't matter anymore, now did it? He hated me, too, but despite everything...

...he could continue to drink the salt-sweat of him from his glistening skin, his damp blond locks; just as long as...

...despite everything, he's calling out my name. Despite everything, he hasn't really hurt me, not really. His arms are still wrapped around me like he won't let go.

...they could stay together, locked in their yin-yang embrace of darkness and light, the dragon and the phoenix, combining opposites into a single wholeness—hate and love, agony and ecstasy, death and life.

As long as the gold eyes that regarded him from behind untidy blonde sheaves of silk held some emotion—any at all—instead of being a curiously blank and cold as a sheet of new-fallen snow.

As long as Envy could reclaim a part of himself he'd thought long rotted in its grave.

Ed snarled against his cheek and Envy turned his face to the blond's, and without thought, their lips came together, tongues overlapping and breath whistling as they both strained to pant without breaking from one another. Ed's pelvis slammed into his thighs, but Envy barely felt the far-away pain of bruises that blossomed and then faded in seconds, he was only conscious of the tight flutter in his stomach and how he needed more, yes, more, moremoremore, just... just... just... a little...oh, god, yes... yes! Yes! He tossed his head back and screamed, body twitching madly as though in a seizure; his climaxed slammed into him like a tidal wave, and he could do nothing but be carried away in the swirling current. Somewhere, like a dream, he felt Ed spasm suddenly, and his arms clenched down around him, squeezing the breath from his lungs as molten heat spurted into him.

Slushy rain and sleet drummed against the window, and the loose eave cracked against the building.

Ed stirred first, slowly lifting his neck from the crook of Envy's neck and looking down at the Sin, still breathing hard. Envy focused his glazed eyes and tried to lift a hand up to stroke along the alchemist's face, touch the sore spot on his forehead that was the result of him slamming his skull into the homunculus's. The knot of wood over his lower forearm stopped the motion before it even started, and Envy gritted his teeth.

Ed noticed this, and he licked his lips, sliding free of the Sin's body almost regretfully. He was shaking, Envy noticed.

He clapped his hands and lowered them. Envy shook his head, raspily snarling at him, and he paused.

"Stupid... Just going to let me go? You think that we can just do this, and that makes everything better? Think I'll just walk out of here as casually as I walked in? Goddamned fool if you think that." It hurt to speak, but he had to. The truth was not sweet in his mouth nor in the blond's belly, but that didn't make it any less true.

Ed nodded wearily, ripe hay lashes obscuring his eyes. "I don't expect that; I'm not even sure I would want that. But I may be a fool, just the same." He touched his fingers down on the desk, undoing his earlier transmutation.

Envy rolled from the varnished wood to the floor; his legs at first refused to bear his weight and he stumbled awkwardly, catching the edge of the desk and "redressing" before he straightened up. He took a trembling step toward the alchemist, lips twitching as though he wanted to speak but couldn't find the words. Ed merely studying hime for a moment, then nodded in the direction of the door.

"I am going to let you leave here, despite the fact that you're our enemy and have tried to kill me. And I will think long and hard on this later, knowing that when I see those I trust; when I stay in the military dorms for the night while reporting to my shit-colonel or when I meet with my Sensei; when I go to sleep at night and am comforted by the presence of my brother... I'll look at them, really look at them...and wonder. Wonder when the next time might be. Because I am a fool. Because I let you walk out of here. Because I didn't kill you... Not because I couldn't, but because I didn't even try."

Envy stared, speechless. "Y—y—you..."

Ed shook his head and pointed at the door again. "Get out." His lips were pressed tightly together in a thin white line, and there were spots of high color flaming in his cheeks. "Get out!" Envy startled at the shout, but then shook his head, and exasperated, Ed's hands met and he dropped to the floor, making the house itself force Envy out in a series of crackling alchemical bursts.

Ed slammed the door behind him and threw the lock, leaning on it and ignoring the Sin's half-hearted shouts of threats and insults, the dull thud of his fists against it. After a few moments, the hall was quiet again, and Ed slid down the wood to crumple at the base of the door, drawing his knees up to his bare chest, folding his arms over the tops of them, and then leaning his head against his forearms. His shoulders trembled and his deep, jagged breaths burned.

He wasn't crying. This was the way it had to be; Envy hated him and would kill him if given the chance—

he'd had chances; I'm still alive

—and Ed didn't need anymore stumbling blocks between himself and the Philosopher's Stone. He couldn't afford to waste anymore time with distractions and hindrances. They were enemies, plain and simple.

Maybe not so simple.

Cold winter rain pattered in a lonely and forlorn rhythm, finally starting to taper off as the storm receded, blown by the unpredictable winds. It was sweeping west and leaving Central, and only the cold remained.